This is the season when people fret terribly over their diets. It seems there are delicious treats everywhere you look…gingerbread men, snowman cookies and those little spritzes pop up in every break room and at every holiday party. Denying yourself the delicious indulgences of the season is one way to go but it’s hard to feel the joy in a party when you’re fighting the urge to dive face first into the treats on the table all night long. With just a little planning you can can navigate those parties and partake in the goodies that make the month of December so sweet.
The first thing you need to remember is that extra calories can be useful. Muscle building demands increased caloric intake so if you time your heavy-lifting, mass building cycle for November and December you’ll be able to put a few extra treats to good use. It’s best to rely primarily on lean proteins and complex carbs to do the trick but mixing in a few cocktails, glasses of wine, cookies or slices of cake won’t completely derail your physique goals. If you’ve switched to a lifting program that utilizes heavy weights and low reps (4-6) for some of your sets then your body can use the additional calories as fuel and to help lay down that beautiful muscle we all love so much.
1. When you’re going to a party, eat before you get there. That doesn’t mean you don’t eat at the party but if you’re not ravenous when you arrive, you’ll make better choices…like being satisfied with two cookies instead of 15.
2. Look over the food choices carefully. There’s almost always one or two protein rich choices (shrimp, meatballs, deli meat). There are usually veggies too (carrots, celery, broccoli) Pick more of those to fill your plate and less of the chips, crackers, bread, candy and pie.
3. If you want a sweet treat, by all means have it but make sure you’ve eaten some sort of protein too, since consuming sweets by themselves spikes blood sugar in an undesirable way.
Combining a program that consists of heavy lifting and doing a few easy things to avoid gorging on simple carbs goes a long way during the holidays. You don’t have to deny yourself the sweets, just consume them with some forethought and all will be well.